Week in review – feeling like autumn

This week brought cooler temperatures, darker nights and plenty of rain! It’s definitely starting to feel more like autumn now. We have had to bring out Bonnie’s raincoat and my hat and scarf for some of this week’s walks.

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Bonnie’s little rain coat for wet weather
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At our favourite park – starting to get chilly!

Bonnie is still enjoying her Nutriment raw food and is getting on great with it. We have got used to storing, defrosting and serving it and it’s really no more inconvenient than kibble. As it is a complete and balanced meal it’s straightforward but I imagine DIY raw would be much more involved because of research, finding suppliers for each component and balancing the diet.

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Bonnie doing her best begging pose
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Begging over now give me the food!

On the training sides of things we have got a new bigger muzzle which fits Bonnie much better and have been getting her used to that. We are also getting her used to leaving her alone and be happy in her pen by feeding all her meals in there.

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New muzzle at the top (size 4) is much more comfortable on Bonnie

As I love to take videos of our training sessions to keep track of our progress, critique my technique and also to share with you guys I bought a Tripod for my phone so I could record videos easier without my partners help. It’s quite a cool design and will definitely be used a lot in future!

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Love the design of this – can be used in so many ways!

She is getting better with the potty bells and is now nudging them while they hang on the door handle with her nose. She only rings it when I am near the door so just need to work on adding distance so I don’t need to be near the door for her to ring them herself. That’s really all for us this week, we haven’t really been up to much special or even taking many photos so that’s all folks!

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All snuggled up – best thing to do on a chilly day!

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New Coat & Trip to Red Brick Coffee House

I recently bought the coat that I featured in my Dog Accessories Wishlist, I was going to wait until her birthday but I got it early so I could start getting her used to it for rainy walkies. It has actually been pretty good weather recently but I’ve taken her out on a few walks wearing it and so far so good she doesn’t seem to mind it.

Bonnie the Border Collie looking at the camera while wearing her new pink Ancol City Coat, waiting to cross a road on a dark morning
Waiting to cross the road on our morning walk, hate these dark mornings now 😦

I’m pretty pleased with it, it has reflective strips around the edge and on the waist straps, is fleece lined but not too thick so she shouldn’t overheat and has back leg straps to help keep it in place. Updated – I have tested it thoroughly in rain now and really impressed with how much less towel drying is needed compared to when she doesn’t wear it. The only negative point so far is that it’s a bit too big in the chest for her as it slips down but that’s not the coat’s fault. She just has a slim chest so will need to put some stitches into it to make it tighter.

Bonnie the Border Collie wearing her new pink Ancol City Coat, it's too big on the chest so is slipping down
Please hurry up and fix this mommy, I look ridiculous!

Also on Saturday we took a little trip to the Red Brick Coffee House after training. It’s a dog friendly café near Ballymena that allows dogs inside and outside.  We decided to sit outside as Bonnie can be a bit overexcited around people, she thinks everyone loves her and wants to greet everyone, it’s been probably our worst area for training as when she does get to greet people everyone except me and my fiancé reinforces her jumping and excitement as “she’s cute” or “she’s light so it doesn’t bother me”.

Bonnie the Border Collie laying down underneath a picnic table outside at Red Brick Coffee House
My ear doesn’t look silly does it?

We reinforced her for laying down calmly under the picnic table we sat at. Also any time she looked at other people and looked back we made sure to reward with treats. We kept the experience positive and most importantly short, she can get overstimulated easily so it’s always important for us to end an experience when she’s still on good form.

Bonnie the Border Collie laying down underneath a picnic table outside at Red Brick Coffee House
You mean I get treats just lying here doing nothing? Awesome!

I’m very proud of her and all the little bits of progress she’s made, when we first got her, nearly a year ago now, she would’ve been way too overstimulated and probably wouldn’t offer the calm behaviour in that situation even for high value treats. We will definitely be doing more trips to dog friendly cafés and restaurants to help with her training, we also have our first overnight stay at a dog friendly hotel coming up on the 23rd of October, so very excited for that and I’ll definitely be doing a blog post about it!


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Dog Accessories Wishlist

Another wishlist again, this time it’s dog accessories! I can’t get enough of browsing dog accessories – collars, harnesses, jackets, the list goes on! Here are some things I’d love to get Bonnie at some point.

Dog Accessories Wishlist contains Ancol Pink City Coat, Easidri towel, Allside Car Seat Cover, Ruffwear Float Coat in yellow, Ruffwear Approack Backpack in orange and Baskerville Ultra Muzzle in blue

  1.  Ancol City Coat Pink – Since the weather is getting worse coming into autumn this coat would be great for those rainy walks. It should keep her back and chest dry so I’ll only have to dry off her legs and paws when we get home. Because Bonnie is long haired it’s very difficult to fully dry her with a towel and I feel bad for her lounging about while slightly damp so this will help keep her dry and toasty.
  2. Easidri Towel – Another great item for the wetter weather. We usually use a spare towel to dry her but I would like to get Bonnie her own towel for after walks and baths. This one has great reviews and should help us keep on top of the wet mucky paws!
  3. Allside Car Seat Cover – We currently use a picnic blanket on top of the rear seats but it slips around a lot and isn’t the best at keeping the car clean. This cover is a hammock style that should keep all the dirt and hair contained so should be perfect for rainy days or days at the beach.
  4. Ruffwear Float Coat – Ever since taking Bonnie to Paws4Swim I’ve been dying to take her to somewhere she can swim but I’m still pretty anxious about letting her swim in case she gets into any difficulty (I’d be no use trying to save her as I’m a poor swimmer). With this jacket I’d have peace of mind and although it’s pretty expensive it should last her throughout her life.
  5. Ruffwear Approach Pack – I’ve heard a lot of people recommending wearing a backpack as a “job” for your dog to do to wear them out mentally and physically so would be interested in trying this with Bonnie. I would start with just the backpack before gradually increasing the weight in the pack, it’s recommended that dogs don’t carry more than 25% of their body weight. I think it would be cool for her to carry her own water, bowl, treats and poo bags on our adventures.
  6. Baskerville Ultra Muzzle in Blue – I purchased the black version of this in size 3 but it is too short for her snout to wear comfortably so would love to get the size 4 in this lovely blue colour. To avoid my sizing mishap here’s a handy sizing guide It is pretty hard to find the blue one but I managed to find the size 4 in stock at the website I linked so fingers crossed it will still be there when I have the money for it!

What has been the most useful accessory you’ve bought for your dog?


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